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tv   BBC News  BBC News  May 3, 2017 3:00pm-4:00pm BST

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theresa may one imagines theresa may will be saying in the next few minutes, however long, that will come as any surprise to her majesty. indeed, she is the longest reigning monarch, she has just celebrated her 91st birthday. she has seen everything in british political life, many changes, great changes, the change of empire, the second world war, the growth of the european union and the end of our relationship with the european union with brexit. there was nothing she has not seen, nothing to surprise her. but it still means she does not take a role for granted, the queen is on top of every pa rt for granted, the queen is on top of every part of her political life. she reads her red boxes diligently, she signed a document. she looks very carefully at the bills she has the sign into law. she doesn'tjust signed them, she is careful to note every pa rt signed them, she is careful to note every part and a few things there is something that doesn't seem legally correct, she will question the prime minister about it. she takes very seriously above all her role as constitutional monakana seriously above all her role as constitutional mona ka na she is seriously above all her role as constitutional monakana she is there to advise, to ronan, to discuss with the prime minister what they think is best for —— constitutional
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monarch. she represents the people of great britain and should want the best type of world for them. very interesting. for now at least, kate williams, the royal historian. aaitis a a it is 3pm. good afternoon to you. you are watching bbc news. we are live at westminster. and we are looking at that shot, beautiful, aerial image of buckingham palace here in central london because the prime minister, theresa may, is inside. she arrived just in the last couple of minutes for that meeting with the queen. we don't know how long it will be, perhaps not the longest of meetings, but that's the start of formal process and parliament was dissolved at midnight, the general election campaign is officially under way and that meeting will be for prime minister to discuss with the monarch that the campaign is now under way. all in the run—up to a general election, of course on 8thjune.
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our political correspondent eleanor garnier is at downing street. and once the meeting is concluded we are expecting to hear a few words from the prime minister once she gets back to where you are? that's right. after that short audience with the queen we expect to hear something from theresa may. i think we should expect her to say that the country needs a new government led by her, that it's strong and stable and can take the country through the brexit negotiations. we know that politicians are up and down the country campaigning. i was out with jeremy corbyn this morning ne bedford where he has been talking about the nhs and i think what we're seeing today is a slight change of gear, certainly, obviously from theresa may because as she has this special moment, this tradition in british history that the prime minister would go to the queen and
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ask for parliament to be dissolved. we know that she left in the last 15 minutes or so to make thatjourney getting into her silver car with one of her special advisors and then flanked by the police on motorbikes and the land rover, range rover at the back, she sped off to buckingham palace. after that conversation with the queen and after this slight change in tone and pace from theresa may today, we know there are 25 working days until the general election. so we are expect, i think, for the campaign to ramp up a bit. we're expecting now the party ma nifestos we're expecting now the party manifestos to be published. so, potentially new policies to go through and new policies to announce and we should expect to see notjust theresa may, but all politicians from the conservative party as well as those from labour, the lib dems, ukip, green party up and down the country campaigning. yes, we'll talk
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to you again in a little while. joining me now is the royal historian kate williams. as we follow these events. for anyone who is justjoining as we follow these events. for anyone who isjustjoining us kate, just remind us, the symbolic role, the symbolic nature of this meeting thatis the symbolic nature of this meeting that is going on as we speak in fact inside the palace? it is going on as we speak between the queen and the prime minister in the white drawing room of buckingham palace. it is a key pa rt room of buckingham palace. it is a key part of the british con stilth stit tuition, previously before the fixed term parliament act the monarch had the power to dissolve parliament if he or she saw fit. in recent yea rs, parliament if he or she saw fit. in recent years, since the victorian period they did not, they did it it on the advice of parliament, but the monarch was a crucial part of the british constitution. it is more symbolic now since the fixed term parliament act. it happened last night at midnight as you were
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saying. the queen is a crucial part of this role because she is the head of this role because she is the head of state. she will open parliament injune. we of state. she will open parliament in june. we will see of state. she will open parliament injune. we will see her opening parliament and a in a different state as we have seen before. there will be less crowns, no gold carriage this time, but certainly, the fact that the queen is there for the fact that the queen is there for the closing of parliament and the opening is vital to the representation of how interwoven the relationship is between queen and parliament. that she is the constitutional, the neutral head of state, that every bill passed through the commons and the lords has to go through the queen. she will never refuse to sign the bills, but she has the final say. will never refuse to sign the bills, but she has the final saylj will never refuse to sign the bills, but she has the final say. i was struck when you mentioned that earlier. she can't change something, that's the role of parliament, but that's the role of parliament, but that notion that she reads every paragraph, she looks carefully at what is laid in front of her. is it if she felt something wasn't right, she was concerned about something, she was concerned about something, she considers her constitutional role to raise it? she does, she
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does, jane. no one has read more bills, acts and laws than the queen. she read everyone since she came to the throne in 1952. even throughout periods of illness and throughout periods of illness and throughout periods of illness and throughout periods of pregnancy, she reads them all. if there is something she feels isn't correct and overlooked, she will speak clearly to the prime minister about this and say has this been completely considered 7 minister about this and say has this been completely considered? she has a sharp and she has a very sharp political brain, but we don't realise what a sharp legal brain she has and the fact she looks over these laws, many prime ministers are grateful because she is the final eye before they go into law, before these craft the lives of the british people and the british parliament. i'm not sure i would want to be the prime minister who had to discuss a mistake! how did that slip through, prime minister? exactly. you don't wa nt to prime minister? exactly. you don't want to be like the bankers in 2008 who were asked why did no one see this coming? the queen asks
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searching and complicated, very tough questions. you do not expect, evenin tough questions. you do not expect, even ina tough questions. you do not expect, even in a short meeting, to have a smiley, yes, that's fine meeting with the queen because she sees it as her role to act as a counter weight to discuss and check that every law, every act and everything the prime minister does is the best for britain. isn't that interesting when we think about her early prime minister, winston churchill who the early days, i para phrase, but felt who is this slip of a girl who i now have to deal with? mature woman. a mature woman in her late 20s, he thought she was a slip of a girl compared to her father. thought she was a slip of a girl compared to herfather. he decided no movie star could have done the role better than her. every prime minister since winston churchill realised what a key role it is to talk about what is going on with the queen because she always occupies, she always knows everything and she is always there to talk very firmly to you. she is sympathetic and engaged, but she receives letters
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from british people the whole time and she sees it her role to represent the people to the prime minister just represent the people to the prime ministerjust as much as he might represent the desires of parliament and the people to her. so it is a, the queen is a vital part of our constitution. she is crucial particularly in her neutrality, what has been a very valued by her prime ministers, nothing they say to her is ever leaked, but she is neutral, she may disagree with them, but overall, she will sign what they give to her into law and not meddling in politics is a key part of the role of the monarchy. let's get the thoughts as well of our royal correspondent, nicholas witchell who is outside buckingham palace. nick, your thoughts about the symbolism, the importance of this meeting this afternoon? it's the unwritten constitution of the united kingdom working, isn't it? it is the head of government seeing the
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head of state, informing her that this election process is about to begin. indeed, it has already started as we have been saying, of coui’se. started as we have been saying, of course. no need to seek the dissolution of parliament. that's already happened. we are 11 or 12 minutes and counting. no sign of the prime ministeremerging minutes and counting. no sign of the prime minister emerging from buckingham palace so far. london, there as we can see, looking very green and verdent. there as we can see, looking very green and ver dent. the trees all 110w green and ver dent. the trees all now in leave. there are the —— leaf. there are the cars. no sign of anyone emerging, london gearing up for its ceremonial season. it is a month now until we will have trooping the colour on 17th june, month now until we will have trooping the colour on 17thjune, a week before that, the duke of edinburgh will be celebrating his 96th birthday on 10th june and edinburgh will be celebrating his 96th birthday on 10thjune and of course, after trooping the colour on the 19thjune course, after trooping the colour on the 19th june will be the state opening of parliament, the new parliament by then will have been elected and the outcome of the election will be known, on 19th
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june, that date which has been set aside for the state opening and in order to do that, of course, the queen had to cancel this year's garter ceremony at st george's chapel, at windsor. that's been cancelled this year because of greater significance of greater importance will be another demonstration of the constitution of the united kingdom when the head of state, not on this occasion in her full ceremonial robes and crown, but she will go to westminster to read the speech prepared for her by her government to outline the administrative and the programme for that government in the parliament ahead. that, of course, some weeks away yet. more than a month away yet. the business to hand is that of the general election which as we're saying really gets into full swing
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officially begins with this visit to the queen, the dissolution of parliament which happened at midnight last night. and what one might imagine is the prime minister talking to the queen about or perhaps what is the queen talking to the prime minister about? well, we will never know, of course, because it is this entirely private audience as is always the case when the prime minister visits the queen on a wednesday evening, and one might imagine that the queen will range across a number of subjects and as we know, it's of importance to the queen, the future of the united kingdom. she is, afterall, queen of the united kingdom. she is often wrongly referred to as the queen of england. she is not the queen of england. she is not the queen of england because england doesn't have its own head of statement she is the queen of the united kingdom and we know she takes that role seriously as she has done for all the years of her reign. it was something she
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pointed out in perhaps the only semi political speech she made during her long reign in19 political speech she made during her long reign in 19 # 77 i think it was when the devolution debate was just beginning when she reminded her audience that she was crowned queen of the united kingdom. she will not express any political view because, of course, she is far too experienced for that, but i think that she will perhaps be curious to gauge the prime minister's view on what might be the implications of this election for the constituent parts of the united kingdom. as i say, that is something that will never be made public, but is perhaps one of the issues, one of the concerns, that the monarch on this occasion may have. so, we await the departure of theresa may from buckingham palace. we are nowjust coming up, it's what 12,
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buckingham palace. we are nowjust coming up, it's what12, so it is about nearly 15 minutes i think she has been in there. sol about nearly 15 minutes i think she has been in there. so i would think within the next five minutes or so we would see theresa may returning to downing street. she no doubt has the programme for the rest of the afternoon very much in her head with afternoon very much in her head with a statement to be made on the steps of downing street and then formally the election campaign, which well, it has been in full swing for a numberof it has been in full swing for a number of days, but it will get into a even higher gear. the business just at buckingham palace continues. other people arriving having their names checked off at the main gate. at downing street, there is the podium already so that's something ofa podium already so that's something of a confirmation that there will be a statement to be made by the prime minister when she returns to downing street. that is there all ready for herand at street. that is there all ready for her and at buckingham palace the tourists are getting this extra dimension to their visit, not a huge number here this afternoon, but
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curiosity obviously about what is happening and we have been trying to explain to some of the foreign tourists what is happening that the prime minister is visiting the queen because the parliament of the united kingdom has been dissolved in order that we can have a general election, but they're hanging around hoping to see the departure of the prime minister which we must expect perhaps within the next five minutes or so. nick, as we were looking at the glorious sweeping shots of the palace and the surroundings, and you we re palace and the surroundings, and you were reminding us of the many ceremonial summer events that are coming up. just your assessment of whether those big events, trooping of the colour and state opening of parliament, key moments in the british calendar, are they altered, amachineded, scaled down in anyway way at all now to reflect, to acknowledge the queen's years? we forget the age she is really because
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we look at her and you have to sometimes really remind yourself that she is the age she is because she never seems that she is the age she is because she never seems to come across, you have to remind yourselfjust quite what a remarkable age she has reached. have the big ceremonial set pieces been changed or modified in anyway? jane, there is certainly some modification and i think it would be fairto modification and i think it would be fair to say there is some significant modification of the workload that the queen is facing now. bearing in mind and mindful of the fact that she is now 91 and quite reasonably so. i think that her officials are extremely mindful of that, not that they have any cause for concern about her health, but it is a fact that the workload of the head of state can be a considerable one. we recall that she is notjust head of state of this country, but of a number of other nations, so the paperwork is immense and she has said in the past fortunately she is a quick reader and every night she will go through
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and every night she will go through a box or perhaps several boxes of official papers, signing any number official papers, signing any number of different things, acts of parliament, and all kinds of other documents and as kate and you have been saying, she is conscientious in her paperwork. she takes the role of constitutional monarch, of head of state, of queen of the united kingdom extremely seriously and wants even at the age of 91 still to be across all the documents and all the papers that come across her desk every single day with the exception, i think, just of christmas day and perhaps a day or so over easter. so the workload is considerable, but i think in terms of audiences with ambassadors and others and military figures there has been a concerted effort, i think, figures there has been a concerted effort, ithink, to figures there has been a concerted effort, i think, to lighten the load just in sensible ways to make it less onerous for her, to ease the time that she has to spend standing. we know that in the past she had just some slight issues with her knees and i think that that perhaps
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isa knees and i think that that perhaps is a little bit of an issue on owe cautions so long periods standing are perhapsjust cautions so long periods standing are perhaps just a cautions so long periods standing are perhapsjust a little bit of a concern, are perhapsjust a little bit of a concern, but in terms of the busy period that comes up, we were just seeing if the camera tilts up, you will see the marquees starting to appear in the grounds of the gardens of buckingham palace. they are a reminder that we of buckingham palace. they are a reminderthat we are of buckingham palace. they are a reminder that we are about to see the summergarden reminder that we are about to see the summer garden parties when the queen, aged 91, the duke of edinburgh 96, as he will be on 10th june, will greet thousands of visitors who come to the several three or four garden parties that ta ke three or four garden parties that take place in the grounds of buckingham palace, there you can see the marquees, the tea tents, they're being put into place ready for those summer being put into place ready for those summergarden being put into place ready for those summer garden parties. there isjust one of the tasks that the queen fulfils in her head of the nation role. rewarding people, people invited to the garden parties perhaps the one occasion in their lives when they go to buckingham palace and have an opportunity to
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see and perhaps even to speak to the queen in herown see and perhaps even to speak to the queen in her own gardens. and then we queen in her own gardens. and then we haven't yet seen the flags coming out for trooping the colour, but it won't be long before this do and the mall will be lined with union flags ready for the queen's birthday parade on 17thjune. ready for the queen's birthday parade on 17th june. it ready for the queen's birthday parade on 17thjune. it is a little bit later than usual this year and it is por the reason that trooping the colour is taking place on 17th june so you've got the household division closely involved in that that the state opening of parliament, this unexpected state opening of parliament on 19thjune, a state opening that nobody had anticipated until the prime minister decided that she wanted to have a general election, that state opening on 19thjune won't general election, that state opening on 19th june won't be general election, that state opening on 19thjune won't be a ceremonial one. so there will be no ride in a carriage, escorted by the household cavalry with footguards lining the streets and that kind of thing because the household division said
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they can't manage it after trooping they can't manage it after trooping the colour on the saturday, they can't, they haven't got time to do the full rehearsals that they would normally do for a state opening. so that's a rather long—winded answer jaib to your question. is the load on the queen being lightened? yes, it is. she is, as i mentioned earlier, spending i would say now quite significantly less time at buckingham palace, more time at windsor. the palace isn't saying where she has been today of the she came by road from wherever she was this morning arriving at buckingham palace at about 2.45pm and then just a few minutes later, of course, the prime minister arrived at 2.55pm. so what are we now? it is coming up to 3.20pm. quite a long meeting, nick! yes, quite a long meeting. well, a cup of tea. several cups of tea even! it brings us back really to the point that you you were discussing earlier and we have been mentioning that it is really an
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opportunity for the prime minister tojust sit opportunity for the prime minister to just sit and have opportunity for the prime minister tojust sit and have a, not a gossip, though i think on occasions with some prime ministers, it is has beena with some prime ministers, it is has been a gossip because the queen likes to keep up with the personalities and the political gossip of what's going on in westminster, but on this occasion, in the context i'm sure of this general election, dominated very largely by brexit and all the issues that the united kingdom will be facing on that score in coming years, there are serious matters to consider and the queen will want to hear perhaps about that dinner last week with eu officials. perhaps, you know, this is one opportunity that the queen will have before the prime minister gets fully into the election campaign to be brought right up—to—date on the latest thinking about brexit negotiations. we must not and the queen will not anticipate that theresa may will be returning as prime minister after
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8thjune, clearly returning as prime minister after 8th june, clearly that's something for the electors to decide. so this, you know, but nonetheless, there will be a number of issues i'm sure that they will want to discuss and clearly they are so doing because it's more than 20 minutes now, 23 minutes since the prime minister we nt minutes since the prime minister went in and i can still see no sign of officials coming out or the detectives getting ready which is usually the first sign that somebody is about to come out, it is when they start to open the doors and get they start to open the doors and get the cars started, but no sign of that so far. we are talking about a general election, of course, nick, the queen's neutrality is remarkable. it is one thing has marked her reign i think it is fair to say. i suppose what would be fascinating to know is how neutral her private conversations remain? i wonder how
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robust her comments might be perhaps about something that for example michel barnier said this morning or indeed, britain's vote to leave the eu, how frank she is with the prime minister of the day. i suppose we will only ever know so much. wouldn't we all love to know? yes. i think she has a practised way of asking questions rather than expressing an opinion. now, on occasions in the past her asking a question has been interpreted as expressing an opinion. but i think that as we have been saying she has an acute interest in all of this. she wants to keep abreast of things and who wouldn't when you've been in that position for all of these years and as she said, it is fortunate not only is she a fast reader, she has been described as an executive woman who quite likes, she is not taking decisions, but she is in her way as
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a constituency toingal monarch right at the centre of things and she is seeing things and she has this opportunity to take a lively interest in matters of state. she has the right as we have said to be consulted, to encourage, and to warn and no doubt there have been occasions when she has precisely done that. but on this occasion, she will perhaps as we are saying just be briefing herself and bringing herself up—to—date on contemporary issues, notjust the state of the united kingdom, but the state of this country vis—a—vis the european union. so it is unions of one sort or another which in many ways are dominating so much of the political thinking at the moment and on which she will wish to be fully briefed. so theresa may will have an opportunity to do that, but in terl of mew trality, no, you're right, the queen recognises and learnt from
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her father, congestion charge the sixth of the need to be scrupulous when it comes to suspicion of impartiality which is really a difficult path to tread, but she is deaf contained, curious, but she has this ability to keep her opinions to herself and i suspect and indeed people who have been very close to her, i think, people who have been very close to her, ithink, would never be people who have been very close to her, i think, would never be quite sure what her view on a political issue really is with the single exception i would hesitate to suggest of the question of the survival of the union. that is something, which i believe, she does privately, privately, feel strongly about, but she would never seek to impose that view more widely or officially. yes, this is quite
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remarkable to think about, isn't it? thank you, nick. let's return briefly to downing street itself. eleanor garnier is there. perhaps a longer meeting between the prime minister and the queen than we might have anticipated. but at some point we think in the not too distant future she will be back where you are and we certainly expect to hear are and we certainly expect to hear a few words from theresa may. we do, and in the meantime, a lectern has been put outside ready for theresa may to return. remember, this lectern was only out here a cull of weeks ago when we had that surprise announcement from theresa may calling the snap election and really since then campaigning has felt like it has been in full swing with people campaigning up and down the country already. today though marks the official start of the general election campaign. the formal
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dissolution of parliament just election campaign. the formal dissolution of parliamentjust after midnightand dissolution of parliamentjust after midnight and that's why we have had this tradition of the prime minister travelling to buckingham palace to have an audience with the queen. when they return here, when theresa may returns here, we expect a short statement. we can imagine that she will be talking about the need for a new government to be elected with her at the head of it, perhaps using those words strong and stable i would have thought. we also know that politicians are campaigning today despite their change of tone, the change of pace here out and about across the country, campaigning is still going on. i was with jeremy corbyn campaigning is still going on. i was withjeremy corbyn in bedford this morning. he was talking about the nhs and campaigning with local activists and local labour nhs supporters. but yes, a long meeting, but it has been a very short parliament. the shortest since 197a. i think parliament sat for around
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300 days. it was only the summer last year when the prime minister was asked by the queen to put together a government. so she hasn't beenin together a government. so she hasn't been in downing street very long and she will be hoping she is back here after 8th june putting she will be hoping she is back here after 8thjune putting together her new, her fresh after 8thjune putting together her new, herfresh government. but other parties will have other ideas and that's why we are seeing them campaigning up and down the country. of course, whilst all that is going on, brexit is looming. this general election really is set against the backdrop of brexit and the two year negotiations that are under way. so, we are going to hear about brexit and how that's playing into the general election a lot. i think that's a theme that theresa may is going to be going on a lot saying we need a strong leader hold be able to go to battle with those eu officials and politicians to get the best deal for britain. i think we are going to see labour talking more about
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specific policies, key issues like the nhs, like education, like funding for schools. so, the nhs, like education, like funding forschools. so, i the nhs, like education, like funding for schools. so, i think, over the first two weeks of the unofficial campaign we have started to see themes being carved out by the different parties and then this sort of moment, if you like, a little pause, while theresa may goes off to see the queen for that tradition, that ritual that seems very difficult to let go of because we know that since 2011 when the laws were changed actually the dissolution of parliament happens automatically. whereas in the past the prime minister would have had to have gone to the monarch to ask for parliament to be dissolved. i think we can see now the cars waiting to bring theresa may back to number ten just in the courtyard there in buckingham palace. as we were
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reflecting earlier, how much would we love to know exactly what theresa may and the queen had been talking about? but, of course, those private audiences with the queen are just that, private audiences. eleanor, more from you on the politics of all of this in the next few minutes if as we think theresa may is on her way back to downing street where you are. we'lljust way back to downing street where you are. we'll just return way back to downing street where you are. we'lljust return to nicholas witchell our royal correspondent actually at the palace. even if theresa may is on her way out in the next few moments, this has been quite a lengthy meeting, nick?m has. half an hour. i quite a lengthy meeting, nick?m has. halfan hour. i mean quite a lengthy meeting, nick?m has. half an hour. i mean that foot man there clearly thinks that it is coming to an end because he has come out and he's ready for his big moment to open the door for the prime minister so she can get in the limousine. i can see the metropolitan police out riders the they are in the fore courts rather
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than the quadrangle of the palace. they don't seem quite to be getting their bikes started yet, but i'm sure that wouldn't take more than a moment or two to get the convoy under way, but yes, moment or two to get the convoy underway, but yes, nearly moment or two to get the convoy under way, but yes, nearly half an hour. so clearly, quite a bit to talk about. there is the queen's he cannery, sam fletcher so he perhaps knows something that we would all like to know which is whether the audience is yet over, but i think one must assume that it is or will be very shortly. and that the prime minister will be coming out and returning to downing street. she comes for. audience on her own comes for this audience on her own and a new prime minister would come or and a new prime minister would (i'ne or administration. she goes into to see the queen on 2
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administration. she goes into to see the queen on g initially and administration. she goes into to see the éaéén on e person i and administration. she goes into to see the éaéén on e person who the queen invites the persen whe eenj of the to form an ;77 in~— ,, % ‘jeremy corbyn or will ;; invited will 3 invited to the “32 at the whe— have—gathered etrthe'uzthf iff’: buckingham the old helicopter overhead and
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everybody just generally the old helicopter overhead and everybodyjust generally ready. you can see a little knot of people just lining the short way from the gate to the main traffic. but you can see there just to the left of the gate, you can see those out riders, who i was referring to a moment ago. now, as far as was referring to a moment ago. now, as farasi was referring to a moment ago. now, as far as i can see, they are mounted up, i think is possibly the expression, but they have not started up yet, all got their lights going, and of course there on the left you can see where the king ‘s. —— where the king's door is. you can see the prime minister's limousine on the far left of the picture, just parked at the king's door, just below the queen's private apartment and the audience room where this audience has taken place. that noble footman still at his post. ready to
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open that door. 0nce footman still at his post. ready to open that door. once again, we spec hewlett, as we always do come on these occasions as to what they might be talking about. it will be the political situation of the moment. perhaps some of the figures from westminster who are not returning, who are resigning, not seeking re—election, some bigger figures from westminster, the queen undoubtedly will have come across during their long careers. but particularly as we were saying the queen will want to know what the prime minister's view of these european err negotiations is likely to be, after the dinner with mr juncker last weekend in the statement by mr barnier this
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morning. i would statement by mr barnier this morning. iwould be statement by mr barnier this morning. i would be very surprised if she has not taken a keen interest, reading the papers and just following perhaps on a camel such as this, the unfolding picture of european negotiations. here is her chance to hear from the latest offer prime ministers, her 13th prime minister —— the latest of her prime minister —— the latest of her prime minister —— the latest of her prime minister ‘s. the prime minister has the cement is though it is subject to how the electorate feel who should be prime minister, but who is at the moment still the prime minister at the centre of things, at the centre of those negotiations. even the footman is looking concerned, looking around, i would hesitate to say he is looking a bit bored. how much longer, i suspect he is saying to himself. kate williams is with us. the royal
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historian. 0nly her second female prime minister. so much of this meeting between the two is fascinating but it would be interesting to know whether that in itself has been reflected upon, whether the queen felt she would see another female whether the queen felt she would see anotherfemale prime whether the queen felt she would see another female prime minister whether the queen felt she would see anotherfemale prime minister in her time. i'm not sure. many of us did not think so. we had mrs thatcher, the prime minister no one could ever forget and now we have mrs may. just as nick was saying, there can be no presumption of course that mrs may will return after the general election. this could be their last meeting. so that is one moment of the meeting, something very important of these meetings, it could be the last time she speaks to mrs may as a prime minister theoretically, because we could have mr corbyn, theoretically, because we could have mrcorbyn, mr theoretically, because we could have mr corbyn, mr farron, someone else could be prime minister injune. but
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it is very important to the queen and very fitting she has had two female prime minister is in an age since when she came to the throne, we have seen such great changes in the role of women. looks like she is coming out now. the second female prime minister to have had conversations with the queen. there goes theresa may back to ten downing st. as you reflect, will she be the next prime minister that the queen has an audience with their outback young palace? we will know in the early hours ofjune the whether she will be returning and making their journey again as the next prime minister —— the early hours of the 9th ofjune. she will make her way back here, and will be at ten downing st injust back here, and will be at ten downing st in just a few minutes time. nicholas witchell at
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buckingham palace, we are seeing the crowds of tourists outside the palace as well. yes, cars sweeping out. the prime minister looked quite cheery as she came out. a bit of a smile as she bade farewell to the queen's equerry, and he gave her a wave. looks like they are repeating the slightly circuitous route that they took in coming here, or possibly they are turning down bird cage walk, are they? we will know in just a moment. yes, ithink cage walk, are they? we will know in just a moment. yes, i think they are, which is a rather more direct route back to downing street. it will take them just a couple of minutes to make their way carefully but fairly speedily down bird cage walk which takes them past wellington barracks were of course the footguards are section. i think it is bird cage walk, it all looks likely the same from this close angle. but that audience is
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complete, rather more than 30 minutes. clearly a range of issues considered in disgust. they are going past wellington barracks, you can see the guards chapel. they will be back at downing street injust a moment or two. the queen now fully briefed, notjust by her documents that she sees every night, but from half an hour with her prime minister. that would normally be the way, wednesday's programme works. it is the day when the prime minister traditionally visits the queen for the weekly audience, for that weekly update on events, but a very different sort of audience on this occasion. conceivably the last audience apart from a farewell, but we audience apart from a farewell, but we mustn't speculate on the outcome of this election, goodness me, no. but half an hour with the queen which is now over. the prime
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minister making her way just which is now over. the prime minister making her wayjust past, where are we now? just coming into parliament square, past the treasury building at the top of the picture. they will be turning possibly, i wonder if they will go in through the treasury, now they will probably just go up whitehall, the short distance. that is the joy of having these outriders, they can do all sorts of things which to anyone else would be completely illegal. cutting through the traffic. the policeman at the traffic lights turn to keep everything away from them. and a moment of some political theatre with the prime minister returning to downing street, having informed the queen, the head of state, that the united kingdom is to have a general election. there we are, just approaching the familiar gates to downing street. the outriders
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dismounting. there was a little bit of, not an incident on their way out, but somebody in the crowd with a banner, who was spoken to severely. then they go through the gates of downing street. the prime minister is back at downing street. an election is underway. gas, and now we can really talk about the formal election campaign. eleanor gagne, our political editor, i assume this element of the formalities is over, so we will hear something perhaps rather more political from the prime minister theresa may, directly to the podium. i have just been to back the palace —— buckingham palace for an audience with her majesty the queen to mark the dissolution of this parliament. the 2015 parliament is now at an
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end, and in 36 days, the country will elect a new government and choose the next prime minister. the choice you now face is all about the future. whoever wins on the 8th of june will face one overriding task, to get the best possible deal for this united kingdom from brexit. and in the last few days, we have seen just how tough these talks are likely to be. britain's negotiating position in europe has been misrepresented in the continental press. the european commission's negotiating stance has hardened. threats against britain have been issued by european politicians and officials. all of these acts have been deliberately timed to affect the result of the general election that will take place on the 8th of june. by contrast, i made clear in
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my letter to the president of the european council, invoking article 50 last month, that, in leaving the european union, britain means no harm to our friends and allies on the continent. we continue to believe that no deal is better for britain than a bad deal, but we want a deal. we want a deep and special partnership with the european union, and we wanted eu to succeed. but the events of the last few weeks have shown that however our wishes and the positions of european leaders, there are some in brussels who do not want these talks to succeed, who do not want britain to prosper. so now, more than ever, we need to be led by a prime minister and a government that is strong and stable, because making brexit a success is central to our national interest, and it is central to your own security and prosperity. because
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while there is enormous enormous opportunity for britain as we leave the european union, if we do not get this right the consequences will be serious, and they will be felt by ordinary working people across the country. this brexit negotiation is central to everything. if we don't get the negotiation right, your economic security and prosperity will be put at risk, and the opportunities you seek for your families will simply not happen. if we do not stand up and get this negotiation right, we risk the secure and well paid jobs we want for our children and our children's children too. if we don't get the negotiation right, if we let the bureaucrats of brussels run over us, we will lose the chance to build a fairer society with real opportunity for all. the choice the country faces now is very simple, because
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there are only two people who can possibly be prime minister after the 8th ofjune to negotiate brexit. it isa 8th ofjune to negotiate brexit. it is a choice between me and jeremy corbyn. with me, you will get strong and stable leadership, and an approach to brexit that locks in economic growth, jobs for our children, and strong finances for the nhs and for the country's schools. or you will get jeremy corbyn with a hung parliament and a coalition of chaos. britain simply will not get the right brexit deal if we have the drift and division of a hung parliament, and so with jeremy corbyn negotiating brexit, we will all pay a high price. if instead you want the best negotiation for you and for britain, then you must make your vote count. every vote for me and my local candidates in this election will be
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a vote to demonstrate that unity of purpose. every vote for me and my local team will strengthen my hand when i negotiate for britain in europe. every vote for me will mean we can get on with delivering my plan for a stronger britain, for while the opposition parties look to refight the battles of the past, or to painta refight the battles of the past, or to paint a vision of a future that is filled with despair, i am ambitious for britain, because i believe our best days lie ahead. i believe our best days lie ahead. i believe our best days lie ahead. i believe our —— i believe that with ha rd believe our —— i believe that with hard work and dedication we can make a su ccess hard work and dedication we can make a success of brexit and stand tall in the world once again. i believe that we can build a stronger britain, where our economic progress is secured and prosperity and opportunity is shared around the country. i believe we can build a stronger economy that rewards all
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those who work hard, and creates secure and well paid jobs for our children and our children's children too. i believe we can build a fairer society, with real opportunity for all, where everyone has the chance to get on in life, where every child gets a good school place, and working people can buy a home of their own. i believe we can build a more secure and united nation by taking action against the extremists who seek to divide us, and standing up who seek to divide us, and standing up to the separatists who wish to tear our country apart. and i believe these simple values and aspirations are shared by ordinary working people everywhere, and that they can bring this nation together asa they can bring this nation together as a result. for as we face this critical time for our country, five yea rs critical time for our country, five years that will determine the course of the united kingdom for generations to come, we must do so together, with a unity of purpose,
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together, with a unity of purpose, to make a success of brexit, and to build a stronger, more secure country too. so, in the weeks ahead, i will travel to all corners of this united kingdom, with a positive vision for britain, and a determination to earn your vote, and i will do so with a clear message. if, like me, you believe in britain, if, like me, you want our country to succeed, if, like me, you believe in putting division behind us, in looking to the future, and getting on with thejob looking to the future, and getting on with the job of building the stronger, more secure country that we need, then fix your sites on the future, and in this unique and crucial election for our country, give me your backing to lead britain. give me your backing to speakfor britain. give me your backing to speak for britain. give britain. give me your backing to speakfor britain. give me your backing to fight for britain. give me your backing to deliver for
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britain, a stronger britain, where our economic progress is secured, and prosperity and opportunity is shared for all. a britain that works not just for the shared for all. a britain that works notjust for the privileged few, but for every single one of us. so, the first formal election statement from the prime minister following the dissolution of the, and really leaving people in no doubt that this isa leaving people in no doubt that this is a brexit election. some very strong comments at the start from the prime minister, particularly in light of what we have been hearing in the last 2a hours or so and those comments from michel barnier this morning. we have been misrepresented in the european press, the eu position has hardened, and there are some in brussels who don't want our talks to succeed. some of the comments, very strong words from the
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prime minister, let's go straight to our political correspondent eleanor gagne who was listening to that in downing street. some very firm language there. yes, it was very interesting to hear the start of the prime minister's statement, where she said that britain's position had been misrepresented in the european press, that european officials and politicians had issued threats. and she interestingly also said that what had happened in the last few days had been timed to impact the general election here in the uk. she said that not only have there been threats, and britain's position was misrepresented, but there were some in the eu who did not want these talks to succeed. so some very strong language there, some very strong language there, some very strong points she was putting forward , strong points she was putting forward, but of course this does play into the kind of pitch she wa nts to play into the kind of pitch she wants to make to the public, that
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now is the time for the country to have a strong leader, she says, because the last few days have shown the country, she says, that things are going to get very tough. but i think it was striking, the language used at the start of her statement. then of course she went on to a wider statement about the interests of the country, but it was all framed around brexit. she presented some of her views, some of her aspirations, but all under that big banner of brexit, and how she believes she is the right person to do the negotiating, to go into battle with brussels. but i think what will stand out from the speech, i suspect what will be picked up by the newspapers and on the front pages tomorrow, is the language she used, responding to what had happened and what had been coming out of the european union in the last few days. i think that is probably not what everyone was expecting but it did contain as well much more of a political side.
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saying thatjeremy corbyn was not up to doing the negotiations. she had just been to see the queen, have that short audience with the queen, and returned in the last ten minutes, stepped out of her car, walked straight up to the lectern and spoke a thing forjust under ten minutes. the things that are really standing out is that she accused those in the european union, the officials, the politicians, of issuing threats to britain, that britain's views had been misrepresented by some of the european press, and that some in the eu did not want these talks to succeed. she admitted that the talks are going to be tough, that no deal, if it came to it, no deal would still be better than a bad deal, but she did want the talks to succeed. she wanted britain to be a friend of
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the european union. statement done, she is back in number ten and after this clause, this moment where she went off to visit the queen, the tradition the prime minister visiting the queen for that short audience to mark the dissolution of parliament, thing we can now expect, as we have the last few weeks to the election, campaigning really to ramp up. thank you very much indeed. following on from theresa may visiting the queen at buckingham palace, and now just visiting the queen at buckingham palace, and nowjust in the last few minutes, that very strong statement outside number ten. clearly this election primarily about brexit. that is the essence of what theresa may has been saying at number ten in the last few minutes. much more analysis of this at the top of the
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hour and we will be talking to lots of gu ests hour and we will be talking to lots of guests here at westminster about what we might all expect now in the coming weeks, what we can expect in the run—up to that vote on the 8th ofjune. more from westminster to come. back to you now. 0ne one of the main story breaking this afternoon, a man has been found guilty of planting a home—made bomb ona guilty of planting a home—made bomb on a london underground train. damon smith who is 20 and has asperger syndrome was convicted after a jury heard he packed a rucksack with explosives time to go off at north greenwich tube station. alone on a london underground platform, damon smith is caught on cctv priming his device to explode on the tube. it is inside a rucksack, and he has timed it to go off just after 11am. surrounded rucksack, and he has timed it to go offjust after 11am. surrounded by passengers, he feigns interest in his book. further down the line, he
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gets off, but he has abandoned the rucksack in the carriage, and left its lethal contents to explode. the rucksack was eventually spotted. north greenwich station was evacuated. passengers frightened that as on 7—7, the underground system was once again a terrorist target. although parts of the device we re target. although parts of the device were viable, it failed to explode. if it had detonated, it certainly would have endangered life. without a doubt it would have caused mass casualties and certainly would have caused substantial damage to the underground system. he had an unhealthy interest in firearms and violence, particularly mass shootings in america, and although he was in possession of some is serial, we cannot prove his motivation or his ideology. damon smith was arrested close to london metropolitan university, where he had just begun a degree course will stop his bag was a copy of the koran. despite his interest in islam, he was not a muslim. hello
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everyone, i'm going to shoot my gun. described as fascinated by weapons, he posted this video on the internets. this pistol fired blank rounds, you and another one that fired ball bearings as well as this knife. 11 centimetre blade. he also posted this picture of himself on facebook with a knuckle duster. islamic state propaganda was found on devices at his home. he was said to use an online al-qaeda bomb—making manual to help construct his device will stop the explosive was contained in a thermos flask with a wall clock is a time. he packed the device with ball bearings to the dues a shower of shrapnel when it blew up. written on the list of components were the words, and keep this a secret between me and allah. damon smith has asperger syndrome, a form of autism.|j allah. damon smith has asperger syndrome, a form of autism. i got my gcse results. this was him talking about his academic achievement. gcse results. this was him talking
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about his academic achievementlj got about his academic achievement.” got a distinction star in itv stop thejury got a distinction star in itv stop the jury was told that his intelligence was not impaired by his condition. his one—time best friend witnessed his developing interest in extremism. he was showing me videos of isis grabbing a knife and cutting off people's heads slowly, and burning people in cages and drowning them in cages. he was like, don't this looks all the fun, and i was like, no, it doesn't, it looks a bit wrong actually, i don't agree with this sort of stuff. damon smith claimed he left the device as a prank, but the jury decided this wasn't a bomb hoax and that he did deliberately set out to attack the london underground system and the people travelling on it. june kelly, bbc news. much more from me at the top of the hour and from jane hill at westminster but now a look at the weather. 0ne extreme or the other today. it is warm and sunny extreme or the other today. it is warm and sunny or extreme or the other today. it is warm and sunny or cool and cloudy.
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some sunshine, glorious afternoon in northern ireland. struggling to spot a cloud in the sky. the breeze kicking up the waves as well into the north sea coast. temperatures around nine celsius. 19, west wales. we have hit 20 again in north—west scotland. we will filter a bit more of this. we are seeing a few showers or some patchy rain into the far south—east of england. the cloud to the south keeping temperatures up. a single figure temperature night but it is cooler where it is clearer, especially towards the north of the uk and in rural spot some mightjust get cold for a touch of frost. there will be a little bit more clout filtering into scotland as we go through the night. some decent sunny spells. and, for northern ireland and northern england, and then become further south, in the way a
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lot of cloud. you may find a few early showers are affecting the parts of midlands and southern england. perhaps one or two brighter brea ks england. perhaps one or two brighter breaks in the south of england and we still have this breeze, a noticeable feature of the weather. more of us will be noticing that as it picks up during the day on thursday. taking the average is back along this north sea coastal stop the cloud fichardt avenue across parts of england and wales to produce the odd light shower, especially in southern england full but you can see where the best of the sunshine will be full stop not quite as warm as it has been but still quite warm and that sunshine, north—west england, north—west scotla nd north—west england, north—west scotland and northern ireland in particular. not much change as you notice on friday. still the potential for the odd shower from the cloud and southern areas but bit brighter here perhaps than it has beenin brighter here perhaps than it has been in recent days. we are watching friday night into saturday. although high pressure remains dominant to the north of uk, an area of low pressure brushing towards the south which may bring some outbreaks of rain into parts of southern england during saturday. a lot of
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uncertainty during saturday. a lot of u ncerta i nty yet during saturday. a lot of uncertainty yet about the detail here. elsewhere it will remain dry. if you have outdoor plans in the far south, don't change them yet, just keep checking the forecast. the wind is lighter on sunday, it could be cloudierfor is lighter on sunday, it could be cloudier for some, is lighter on sunday, it could be cloudierfor some, maybe some rest and still quite cool compared with elsewhere. a lot of dry weather to come, just that blip across parts of southern england and the start of the weekend. keep checking the forecast as ever online. this is bbc news. i'm jane hill at westminster as official election campaigning gets underway. the prime minister has visited the queen at buckingham palace to mark the dissolution of parliament. on her return to downing street, theresa may accused european politicians and officials of seeking to influence the result of the general election through threats. threats against britain have been issued by european politicians and officials. all of these acts have
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been deliberately timed to affect the result of the general election that will take place on the 8th june. in brussels, the eu chief negotiator warns that brexit negotiations will not be quick and painless and insists the uk must honour its commitments.
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